Monday, May 30, 2016

Movie Monday: Wasteland Legends (4K)

Last week Faith vs Fate Productions dropped our latest film Wasteland Legends. I shared the behind the scenes once before, and certain wrote about how scary hanging off a waterfall can be. But none of it really even compares to the awesome power of a finished film.

I could blather on for days about this production, buy me a drink and I just might indulge you. But for now, enjoy!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Family Friday: Moving and Change

You may have noticed I took almost 2 weeks off. That happens when you move. Things like packing and cleaning take priority. If you’re like me, you neglect the things that actually keep you sane- like writing.  So I’m back this week. Ready for this new adventure in a new town a little closer to all my family. Whoa.

We’re relocated to Spokane from Seattle, a huge change for the little and me. She was born in the city and I’ve always know that city living and I get along really well. It is not so big a change for the husband, who grew up here.  Spokane has always reminded me of Nevada, the state I grew up in. Rolling hills that go on forever, pine trees and clear blue skies (so long as it’s not fire season) rivers, lakes and hiking trails.

It’s not all that different from Seattle I suppose. My recent trip the grocery store only found a few things missing from the isles I’m accustomed to. And everyone said hello. Like, every person that works there said hello. So that was kind of nice. The kiddo is doing ok too. She only asked to go home once, and has slept in her own bed every night.  It may be a little hard when it finally clicks that this is home now, but for the time being she’s my little trouper.

So moving sucks, but change does not. Change is usually  a new opportunity, and for that little silver lining, I am forever grateful.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Movie Monday: Assassin's Creed

I am a die-hard Assassin’s Creed fan. There is something just special about the history and culture wrapped into an adventure saga about good and evil in these games. So naturally I’m hooked. I am anxiously awaiting the movie, as I have been since they finally announced they were going to make it.We still have to wait until Christmas – which seems like a great way to get away from the rush of things during that mad season. I think I was as thrilled as everyone else was when Ubisoft and Fox finally dropped the first trailer.

But I’m still pretty apprehensive about it. I have offically reached that fan-girl status of SO excited to see the product and TERRIFIED that the studio will screw it up.  Remember what they did to Fantastic Four and Firefly? Fox does NOT have a good track record.  At least this time some studio exec was smart enough to hire Director Justin Kruzel and his FANTASTIC Director of Photography Adam Arkapaw. They did one of the best Macbeth’s I’ve ever seen. At least we know this will be beautiful.

There is a small glimmer of hope for Fox. I’m may not be  holding my breath though. This is after all the same studio that gave us the train wreck that was Fantastic Four. Twice.  AND their Executive Producer said they’re flipping the past::present ratio, so they may have completely forgotten why they were making it in the first place. It must give us pause… They did do some amazing work with Deadpool- even if they took $7 million away DURING production.  

I have hope for what Assassin’s Creed.

You’re still not forgiven for Firefly.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Movie Monday: Super-Exhausted

I think I’m suffering from Superhero anxiety. I’m not Team Captain or Team Stark or whatever! I’m sort of meh about the whole Superhero thing. Disney is banking on the fact that they have all this pre-vetted material in the Marvel Universe. Their slate is stock full until 2020 with Superhero films. But like the Musical and Zombie movie before them, I think we’re all super exhausted with Superhero films.

Last night my husband and friends went to see Captain America: Civil War. They offered to let us geeky moms have a night at the theater to see it ourselves, it was after all Mother’s Day… but us moms looked at one another and sighed that mom sigh of “do I have to?” We decided it was better to stay back with the kids.

WHAT?! This geek mom denying a night out to see a super geek movie! I’m such big a nerd that I have a Portal gun and companion cube, I am currently wearing an Inigo Montoya t-shirt from a loot crate and my kids coloring book is from a galaxy far-far away. This isn’t some feeling of thing like I’m a girl and don’t understand or like super hero movies. I do, I REALLY do. But lately I’ve been so inundated by them I just. Don’t. CARE! 

I went to the highly anticipated Batman vs. Superman. Ben Afleck was fine. I really enjoy anything Jeremy Irons is in. Sadly my favorite part was the 2.5 seconds I got to see Wonder Woman. If I need more Henry Cavill in my life, I’ll watch The Man From U.N.C.LE. At least it’s different. I even recently gave the reboot of Fantastic Four a try, just to see what all the internet fan-boy rage was about. You can actually see where the studio took over and it stopped being a movie by the director and becomes a studio jumble of poop. It was still unimpressive. Felt the same way about the most recent Avengers Age of Ultron- even with some of my absolute favorite actors taking center stage.

Superhero movies have changed the face of cinema. We were so awed by the original Spider-Man in 2002, but by the time The Amazing Spider-Man came out no one cared, I certainly didn’t. Batman has been reimagined so many times that I’ve lost count, but it went from being uniquely dark in 1989 with Direction by Tim Burton (no, Chris Nolan was NOT the first to go dark) to the what-the-hell-was-that Batman & Robin in 1997. It took less than 10 years for the studio to squander what had once been awesome and new and turn it into a ridiculous money grab of a train wreck- that didn’t make the money they wanted it to.

I’m exhausted of these movies. Because while they are often accompanies by innovations that break barriers for film and cinema, they are also a lot of the same old thing different wrapping paper. Just a glance at this Wiki page on American Superhero movies and you can see how many we’ve made since the first Spider’s Web series in 1939. 

Bet you didn’t realized we’d been making and seeing super hero films that long, but we have. 

I counted 86 superhero movies from 2002 to 2016. Eighty-six.  I count 4 that can clearly be labeled as original material if we ignore the fact that they are largely inspired by the genre as a whole. I love a good action movie. I’ve written two myself and know countless other writers who have original content. The excuse that there isn’t quality material is ludicrous. Studios need to own up to the fact they are either scared shitless or run by MBA’s without a creative bone in their bodies. Either would suffice. I’m still left standing here in line at the movie theater wondering what I’m going to watch because I just can’t sit through ANOTHER superhero movie.

UPDATE May 11, 2016 : Ok, I saw it was awesome. There was the wonderful filmmaking, colorful characters, the works. Disney knows how to make a solid super-hero movie. The thing is, I went in in a sour mood, hoping it would lift my spirits. It only sort of did. My favorite moments were actually the moments with the age appropriate Spiderman and the extremely under utilized Black Panther. I enjoyed the film, don't get me wrong. But I still feel left wanting. I think what I want more than anything is something new. A new voice, a new talent. That's why Spiderman and Black Panther were so special. They were new and it was awesome. Still hoping, but not holding my breath.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Family Friday: Celebrating Mother’s

My Mom, my and my Grandma Shirley at my Wedding
Sometimes, Mother’s Day is reduced to a flower delivery and whatever sparkly our consumer nation is peddling at the time. I may be in the minority, because while I love fresh cut flowers and chocolate, I don’t need them to celebrate being a mom. Once upon a time, I actually had nothing to give my own mom other than some pretty words, and I won a contest for them.

Now, as a mom myself, my view on mothers and particularly my own has changed quite a bit. I’m still every bit as grateful for everything she has done and still does. But more than that I am quite simply floored by her. I can’t fathom how she did what she did and still manages to have a smile. She was a single mom with a 4 year old and a new born for my earliest memories.  How does a mom with two small kids make ends meet and still have the energy to think about the future? But she did.

She’s not alone.  There are perhaps thousands of single mom’s in my own city. There are stay at home mom’s who have a spouse- but also have three kids under five and are at their wits end. There are work at home moms and go to the office moms. All of them still manage to care for their kids.
My mother and law and myself at Gasworks Park
We like to judge. There is a thousand different ways to parent and no way is right or wrong. If you’re kid gets a lot of screen time, it’s not the end of the world. If they get not a minute of screen time, also not the end of the world (though I really must learn your secrets Mommy Wan Kenobi).  Full organic homemade meals or drive through- the kid’s still fed.

The point is this: Be the best mom you already are. Don’t compare yourself to others, and certainly don’t let others tell you what you’re doing wrong. Take it as you will, but know that no one but you knows the absolute truth about what’s going on inside your home and parenting challenges.

I’d like us all to take a moment and tell a mom thank you. My sisters who are wonderful examples of moms I'd like to emulate. My friends who have taught me the "tricks of the trade" and made me a better mom. My mom who raised me with courage and love. My mother in law who has a generous heart of gold for me like her own daughter.

Thank a mom. If it’s your own, make sure to call her and say how much you appreciate her. If it’s a friend, send her a text to say you see her and all she does. Take the small breath of time to thank a mom today.
Introducing the little to my friends from Z Nation at the
State Capitol. Her concern was for their owies.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Movie Monday: Facing Fear

Actress Ronee Collins holds me hostage over a cliffs edge.
In the very near future, I will have the honor of sharing a film with you called "Wasteland Legends." You can watch the behind the scenes HERE. It's a mad-world end of days piece that was shot on location in Washtucna, WA

Yes, it's a real place. Yes the waterfall is real. Yes, my partner in crime locked down the most amazing location we've shot on to date. You'll have to ask him how.

That film scared the stuffing out of me. For a number of reasons - including that I'd be hanging off a 200 foot waterfall that had recently been closed off to the public because of a number of accidents. No, what scared me more was that the character I'd be playing is NOTHING like me. She is fierce in ways I can't imagine, strong because the world she lives in forced her to get tough or die. I live in comfortable world, she most certainly does not. I suppose being uncomfortable in the 15 degree weather and strapped leather boots was probably for the best. One of my favorite directors I've ever worked with used to always tell me "get comfortable being uncomfortable."

She scared me because there are parts of her I can see in me. If my daughters safety was threatened like this, I'd probably be as desperate to stop it. If my own life were threatened, would I accept my fate or would I cling to the rock through iron will to keep going?

The team behind this film made it look easy. See those gents beneath me on the "safe" cliff? They're there to catch me. This team faced the same grueling conditions of a shoot and were there to catch me. That's what's important about facing fear, isn't it. The person who catches you when you fall.

Just last week I fell pretty hard. I'm terrified of what happens if I don't make this next film come to life. I'm more terrified of what happens if we don't even try. I guess just like my character "Wasteland Legends" I want to give my daughter opportunity. I want her to see me try, I want her to see my fail, I want her to see me succeed. With a little luck and lot of risk, she will see all of the above.